Named scholarships

When it comes to earning a college degree, the greatest obstacle can be funding.

For this reason, The University of Akron is pleased for the opportunity each year to assist talented, deserving students achieve their dreams, thanks to more than 1,300 named scholarships established through the kindness and generosity of thousands of UA alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations.

Scholarships truly are the best way to ensure that today’s students persist to graduation. Scholarships allow students to enroll full time and remain focused on their studies; they also reduce drop-out rates, decrease the stress of student loans, and shorten the road to graduation.

The need for scholarships grows each year, however, as students continue to face an increased financial burden in pursuit of a college degree. In fact, 94 percent of today’s baccalaureate students borrow to pay for college – versus just 45 percent in 1993. Across the country, the average college-related debt for borrowers in the class of 2016 was $37,172; for Ohio students, that figure was $30,239.

If you are interested in making a significant contribution to student success, please consider a gift to the MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND MOVING FORWARD scholarship campaign, which is the University's most important initiative. You may also establish a named scholarship at The University of Akron, which can be created to honor a living person, in memory of a loved one, or to contribute to the growth of an area of study.

To learn more, please contact the Department of Development at 330-972-7238

How do I apply for a scholarship?

This is not the page to apply for scholarships.

Students who want to apply for scholarships should visit the scholarship page on the Financial Aid site.

The Department of Development does not accept applications for or distribute scholarships. Scholarships are distributed through the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid.

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Bunnell, Robert L. and Debra A. Scholarship

The Robert L. and Debra A. Bunnell Scholarship was established in 2014 (and revised in 2016) with a generous gift to The University of Akron from alumni Robert L. and Debra A. Bunnell. The couple established the scholarship to assist deserving students studying civil engineering at UA.

A registered professional engineer in Ohio since 1980 and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Robert has more than 33 years of experience in civil engineering, having served as a design engineer, project manager, and engineering supervisor. He began his career in 1976 with the city of Akron’s Engineering Bureau and retired in 2008 as chief deputy engineer from the Office of the Summit County Engineer. Throughout his time with the city and the county, Robert also served as a part-time faculty member. He taught Statics, Mechanics of Solids, and Steel Design in the Department of Civil Engineering at UA from 1977 to 2016, and he taught Introduction to Building Structures and Structural Systems I and II in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University from 2009 to 2016. Currently, he is a full-time Professor of Practice in UA’s Department of Civil Engineering.

A two-time University of Akron graduate, Robert earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1976, graduating summa cum laude, and his master’s degree in civil engineering in 1981.

Debra, who earned an associate degree from The University of Akron in 1976, spent her career with American Greetings Corp. She and Robert have three adult sons: Kevin, Eric, and Aaron. Eric earned a B.A. in mass media production from UA in 2010. The couple also has four grandchildren.

The Robert L. and Debra A. Bunnell Scholarship seeks to provide two non-renewable scholarships annually. Consideration for the scholarships will be given to students who:

  • Are enrolled full time in the civil engineering program in UA’s College of Engineering
  • Have completed two full years of engineering coursework, including Introduction to the Mechanics of Solids

Preference will be given to students with demonstrated financial need.

Selection of the scholarship recipients will be made by Robert and Debra Bunnell in collaboration with the chair of the Department of Civil Engineering.

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